The student community in the University of Delhi (DU) transcends state borders and every year welcomes lacs of students from all over the country. This dynamism has over time allowed rampant exploitation of students by political parties.
In one of the premier universities of India, every discipline teaches us to be more aware, opinionated and accepting. What no discipline teaches us is political correctness. Politics in DU is a facade of Red Ford Mustangs and bribery; an avenue for the rich. Money is power. If you are a returning wanderer to this political front of DU, well and good. But if you are another impulsive fresher, you need to be wary. For our sake of safety, I shall endeavor to advise you about the complexities of politics in DU.
Politics conventionally is supposed to represent concerns of the general public. But in recent times, politics has been attached with a more morbid connotation consisting of blame game and dark plays. In DU, the election season is around the corner. While the campaigns are yet to gain the requisite fervor, more apparent are the posters on Wall(s) of Democracy in North Campus. The misspelled names convey the message of the mystery related to the candidacy. As per the section in the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act 2007, such posters are unacceptable. Not only that, they are also punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may amount to INR 50,000, or both. But laws are bothersome, why fret?
Expressing alarm over the momentum gained by caste politics, an Indian news and media website had stated, “The Political front is increasingly becoming the battle of Jats versus the Gujjars.” While the success of a student-party is attributed to the money it spends on polls, Independent candidates are generally beaten and downtrodden. According to the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines, a candidate can spend up to INR 5,000 during polls. But it is known that during election campaigns, lavish parties and visits to water parks are funded while free movie tickets, pizzas, cosmetics, and alcohol are distributed to buy favors of the student voters. More desperate measures are not unheard of, as bribery takes the front seat. Justice is promised, not delivered. A platform for simulation becomes one that is stigmatised.
The Ramjas College incident of last year offers us lessons. Here are some ideas to guide you through the election season:
- Stay cautious. Do not hesitate with your interactions, but be on your guard.
- Do not fall for fancy promises. Judge the candidacy wisely.
- Stay well-informed about the events happening around.
- Practice diplomacy. Since your views are your own, express them. But learn to hold them back too (if need be).
Protests and campaigns will begin soon with the hurling of stones, soap-bars and blame on each other. Remain true to yourself. If you are intrigued by politics, seek some reliable guidance before you enter it. The ideas of sedition, nationalism and patriotism cannot be set for you by anyone. This independence day, break free from the unnecessary indulgence. Your will is your own, so long as you are true to yourself.
Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express